The UK bathroom market experienced steady growth in 2017, although at a slower pace than 2016. However, with uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations in 2018, a more modest performance was experienced, with only marginal growth of 2% that year. Looking forward, it is anticipated that the value of the UK bathroom market will continue to rise, albeit at a moderate pace in the short term. The market value will initially be influenced by the rising cost of imports, given the current weakness of the Pound (Sterling), with stronger market performance towards the end of the forecast period.
Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable and will continue to upgrade to higher quality bathroom products, thus supporting value growth in the longer term. This focus on design and home improvements should impact on the replacement cycle with more frequent upgrades providing opportunities for growth. Minimalist designs are prevalent in the UK bathroom market and there is a definite trend towards design-led products in considered styles. Modern baths & sanitaryware styles are curvaceous and have slim rims. Taps and mixers are both practical and stylish and available in a wide choice of styles and finishes.
Digital and smart technology is becoming more widely used as more homeowners are now aware of the benefits of digital control within the home environment. For example, digital taps and sensors to control water temperature and flow, mirrors that incorporate LED lights, cabinets with Bluetooth speaker systems and USB chargers, whirlpool baths with chromotherapy, aromatherapy, voice activated controls etc. Digital technology will be a key driver of growth, particularly in sectors such as taps & mixers, flushing controls, bathroom furniture and accessories.
Durability is also a key factor along with product quality and design as important aspects of the UK bathroom market. Commercial applications such as hospitals and school are moving away from a traditional institutionalised aesthetic towards more domestic orientated styling.
Builders’ merchants remain a prominent distribution channel in the bathroom products sector accounting for almost 50% of the market in 2018. This could easily be attributed to the growth we expect to see from the bathroom market through to 2023 as bathroom products themselves are anticipated to see a value growth of 13%.
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